Category Archives: Tips

Five Signs You Are A Creative Person

Five Signs You Are A Creative Person

You dream in vivid color.

You often are caught staring out the window.

You struggle with knowing who you are.

If you nodded your head to any of these statements above, there is a chance you might be creative. But how do you really know if you are creative? Is there a test? Do you have to take a class? Can you read a book?  Well, no. It’s not that easy. To paraphrase Bob Marley, nothing worth doing is easy and if it’s easy, it’s not worth doing.

So take a moment, take a deep breath and read. If any of these traits click with you, there is a strong chance you are a creative person.

1. You have high energy but you are often quiet or at rest.

This seems like a contradiction (but just wait ’till you get further down). I can assure this in not the case. Creative people are often able to long hours on projects and not feel tired but full of energy. Their passion is what keeps them going (and a little bit of caffeine). Novelists work months on one project. Painters can work 48 hours straight on making sure the hair comes out just right. These are quiet actives but use lots of energy.

2. You often battle between two extremes.

Real vs fantasy
Extroverted vs introverted
Humble vs proud
Passionate vs objective
Rebellious vs conservative
Creative people are not simple people. Labels are not easily placed on them. People with a creative flair are often daydreaming but often it’s for a purpose. They need to dream up an upcoming scene in their masterpiece or they are trying to figure out how warp drive would work. They are out going about their art but often are hard to speak to in the grocery store. They humble to learn new information about their craft but (once in a while) too proud to see a fatal flaw in their painting. Living with two extremes is just a way of life for a creative person.

3. You risk having a higher chance of getting depression.

Regrettable, creativity often requires alone time. Lots of it. Being so isolated for long periods of time often increases the risk of depression. Not interacting with others (being human or animal) reduces interactions and reduces your emotional well-being. Humans evolved to interact with each other and when that is cut off, depression can creep in. So a word to the wise, remember to schedule in time to interact with others.

Another issue that increases depression is an extreme need for perfection. Artist, writers, musicians and other people in the creative world often hold themselves to high standards. Always having high standards and not always meeting those standard sometimes leave to the feeling of not being good enough or being a truly creative person.

4. You work hours that not everyone else works.

Creative people often work when it works for them verse working nine to five. This means they work early in the morning before everyone else is awake or long night hours after everyone is asleep. They often loose track of time and get lost in their work. This means they might start Monday and end Tuesday morning when their muse is truly singing to them. Other times they might only work for five minutes and call it a day. They often find a pattern that works best for them.

5. You step into the unknown.

Yes you! You took the time to look up creative people and their traits. This is just the first step to following your passion. Sometimes just acknowledging that you aren’t quite like the rest of people is following your passion. Once you acknowledge that, you can break away from the path and create your path. Stepping out into the unknown is a very common trait of the creative person and one that is crucial to creativity.

Consequently, do you feel like you are a creative person? Not all these traits apply to everyone. Hopefully, you might have felt a connection to one of these traits. Maybe know you know a little bit more about whether you are a creative person or not!

References –

http://expanded–consciousness.blogspot.nl/2013/12/10-paradoxical-traits-of-creative-people.html
https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199607/the-creative-personality
http://www.medicaldaily.com/what-genius-looks-common-traits-worlds-smartest-and-most-creative-284698
http://www.womenonbusiness.com/5-signs-you-are-a-creative-person/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/creativity-habits_n_4859769.html

How do you keep track of your word count?

How do you keep track of your word count?

Just in time for NaNoWriMo, I thought that I would start sharing some helpful tips as we lead up to NaNoWriMo.   I am a lover of all things NaNoWriMo and I love to talk about it too!

So I think I will start with ways to keep track of your word count.  There are several way to do this and it is very much a personal style choice.  So here are just a few out of the many, many ways one can track a word count!

I will start off with what I shared in my post about my Writing Corner. I shared about my dry ease white board.  Last time I shared it, all it had was just my word count (in green).  But since then I have added blog posts, NaNoWriMo updates and a few other little things! 🙂  I find this way really helpful for two really big reasons: it’s bright and colorful and it’s visible for all to see!  🙂  It hold me accountable to all who can see the calendar – mainly my husband who tends to remind about my lacking word count!

wpid-20151005_091822.jpg

You can click to enlarge it!

Another way to keep track of your word count is via an online counter.  My most favorite one is StoryToolz. This has a lot to offer from word count meters to random conflict generators.  It’s extremely helpful for anyone from someone who just wants to keep track of his/her word count to someone who is stuck in the mist of writer’s block. Also, did I  mention that it has a widget that you can add to your blog? Like this one?
Click to view daily statistics

Another way to keep track of your word count is on an excel spreed sheet. NaNo-tracking-grid  I have had this one for a little while floating around on my computer.  To be honest, I can’t remember where I got it from.  I did not create this but I find it so helpful that I really want to share it.  It is really great for NaNoWriMo but you really could use it for pretty much all year around!

That seems to my top three ways of keeping track of your word count.  I hope you enjoyed it!  Please share it with a friend!

Until next time…

Stalled out

Stalled out

Since I don’t have an interview this week due to unseen events, I thought I would share a little bit about my writing – or well lack of writing…

I’ve stalled out this past week.

I dunno why…

It might deal with the fact that one of the main antagonist characters decided to ‘flip sides’ and really interested in Sam (my main character) more like a lover.  So this now means that that I have to do a lot of edits dealing with this character.  And it’s a fundamental charge that I am going to really tweak the plot line (nothing major but still a good chuck of the sub plots).

But that is what editing is for!  I just need to push through to finish this draft and then I can start to plan out my NaNoWriMo project!  So my goal for this week is to push and finish.  I am am so close!!

Also, if you haven’t notices, I have been rearranging some things and I have put some of my NaNoWriMo swag up on the top of the page! I am just so excited!  🙂

One more thing before you go, please take a moment and vote in my poll!  Thanks!

Until next time…

Drawing up Blanks

Drawing up Blanks
Drawing up Blanks

I’m drawing up blanks… It’s very rare that I can’t think of anything to blog about. I often can blink and come up with a new idea….

Not today, I’m drawing up blanks…

Maybe it’s because I woke an hour earlier and I have been trying to get as much done before my daughter wakes up! But I’ve tried this before… I was able to get some stuff done.

Today I am just drawing up blanks…

My blog has been going so well this month and I am scared that it might not last… But I have felt like this before and it hasn’t brother much…

Today I am drawing up blanks…

I have a lot of great posts coming up with some much great info and great (and helpful stuff). I can’t wait to share it with you guys!

But today I am drawing a blank…

It could be the rain… Nah, I love the rain! It’s so peaceful and I get so many ideas from it…

Blank… That is all that is in my head.

I don’t know about you guys, but I am kinda enjoying the blanks… I’m not so worried and I am able to just breathe. Sometime being a creative person and always coming up with creative idea takes a toll on your body and mind.

Today, I’m okay with drawing up blanks!

Until next time….

The Usefulness of Binders.

The Usefulness of Binders.
The Usefulness of Binders.

This writing Wednesday, I thought I would talk about my love of binders!  I love binders! They are just so useful!

Binders can be used in many different ways.  All lot of us remember having a binder or two during our school days.  Remember the teacher always showing us how to organize it?  Here are a few ways I use binders from my everyday life to my writing adventures!

One of my many binders I have, is a binder filled with notebook paper.  I use this one for free-writes, and brain dumps.  Sometimes staring at the screen doesn’t work or when my daughter is awake and I don’t want her to think I live at the computer, I pick up a pen and write!  And a few people out there are sighing to themselves thinking you know a notebook would work the same.  You are right, a notebook would work the same but I like to add things to my binders.  For example, if I find a great article of a funny picture, I would print it out and then hole punch it.  Then I add it to my binder!  And as any great writer knows, always carry a pen and paper with you.  For this I have a little memo pad that can clip into my notebook.  (We not at the moment. I am using a really girly one and it doesn’t have a hole at the top for adding a memo pad!)

Another binder I have is for my blog stuff.  I have really rough drafts of post written down on paper.  I have a personal goal statement for my blog (and something I don’t often share).  It also has articles I found online that I have printed out and added to it too.  And I often have a blog to-do list of up coming posts and things of that nature.  I also have a hard copy of my calendar of my posts at the beginning of my binders.  (I print my calendars out from here!) I have a very flexible plan of what I am going to post for the month.

On top of all that, I also have a plotting binder.  This is where I break down scene by scene of my novel.  Each scene is on a piece of paper.  On each piece of paper there is the characters involved in the scene, the goal of the scene and a brief outline of the scene.   All the scene go into one section.  Plus, with binders, you can rearrange the scenes (the pages) to your liking or what fits the plot.  Can you do that with a notebook?  Then I have another section for my characters.  Like for the scenes, each character gets a page. On each character page I list of their status, characteristics and any key information for them.  And sometimes, I place a plot point or a surprise here as well. (So I don’t often share what’s in this binder!)  A third section for any research I have done, any images that inspired me, notes for the plot and other tidbits.  To be honest, since I got Scrivener (I have a link to it on my sharing page) I haven’t used this set up for a while but I feel like I should still share it with others especially if you don’t have that program or any extra cash to buy it.

The other use for binders is for editing.  This is more aimed more for the novel length writers who need to edit their drafts.  I am more old school and I like to work with the paper (and I get a lot of paper-cuts!)  And I get my red pen out (or another bright colored pen) and start looking for things to fix.  But since I haven’t gotten to the stage just yet with my current project, I will just leave this for you guys’ pleasure!  (I have edited other projects, but I would rather not talk about those edits…)

Overall, I love binders. They are is very useful and so flexible!  Do you find binders as useful as I do? Tell me below!

Until next time…

Non Writing activities

Non Writing activities

So, what do you do when you aren’t writing?

Wait, people do other things than write? Uh-oh, I’m in trouble!

As many of you know, I am a full time stay at home mom. Most of the day I am just chasing my almost one year old (three more days!) around the house. Within the last week she had given up in napping so that has cut down on my blogging/ writing time. But don’t fear, my husband had chosen next week as his vacation so I might get a great chunk of stuff done! J

Outside of chasing her and playing with her, I do a LOT of reading. I mean, a lot. I am often reading two of three books at a time and countless magazines and articles of all sorts! (Hey, I got to stay in the know with the rest of the world!)

I have tried to sew, crafting, painting and other hobbies but I have failed at almost all of them. That is why I have a series (it’s more of a monthly series) about any time I have tried to do a DIY project and failed! If you can’t laugh at yourself, you need to lighten up!

One of my friends have been bringing me to dance class on Thursday nights. But I have only been to two classes so I will let you guys how that goes!

What do you guys do when you aren’t dancing or writing? Let me know! J

Until next time…

Coffee Date

Coffee Date
Coffee Date

If we were having coffee right now, I would be gagging.  Coffee is like the nastiest thing on the planet…   Hot chocolate on the other hand, now that is what is up! 🙂

I’m not a fan of coffee.  I don’t like the taste, the smell or anything else when it comes to coffee.  I’m the person who goes to the coffee shop and gets chocolate milk to go with my doughnuts!  (Dunkin Donuts for life!)

But if we were having coffee (well, you might be having coffee), I would have a cup of hot chocolate.  We might be visiting about all sorts of things.  If we were really close, I would be talking about my daughter’s first birthday (I even wrote her a letter) or how I can’t wait for Halloween.  I mean, who am I kidding, I am telling everyone about my love for Halloween!

If you were on of my writing minded friends, I would talk about NaNoWriMo.  Are you prepared?  Have you plotted anything out?  What region are you in?  What is your idea about?  Are you going to be involved in some write ins?  Which ones?  I would also ask how your other projects are!  I would also cheer you on about any achievements you have reached.  I would listen to any advice you have found online or something you learned about this week with eager ears!

If you were one of my mother friends, I would ask how your little on is and what they are up to these days.  I would listen to your stories about what trouble they had gotten themselves in and how you had to handle it!

Whatever friend you are to me, I would listen with an open ear to any problems you might have. Are you having trouble balancing life with work?  Is your child getting more stubborn within the last week?  Are you feeling forgotten?  Do you need a break to take a bath.  I am here for you (well, are close as I can be via the blog and the internet).

If we were having coffee, what would you ask me about?  What would you want to talk about? Tell me below!  🙂

Until next time…

Hook ‘em with a quote…

Hook ‘em with a quote…

“I can fix a bad page. I can’t fix a blank page.”

Nora Roberts

This is one of my favorite quotes when it comes to writing. Let me explain.

As writers, we often have an inner judge, jury, editor and critic that lives in our head while we are trying to write. We worry about what other people are thinking or what others might think. That is one of the major causes of writer’s block. Then at the end of the day, we have nothing. You can’t fix nothing!

As a lover of NaNoWriMo, I have learned a few things. First off, I learned that getting the words on the page is the first step in writing. It doesn’t have to make sense (on the first draft!) Just getting the words on the page should cause you to celebrate! That’s the second thing I learned; celebrate the little steps you take. In the long run it will help you achieve your overall goal! The third thing I learned during my writing journey is that you can fix the bad stuff but you really can’t fix nothing. (Have you ever tried to pay something with nothing?)  Get the words down first and then fix it later!

It’s okay to have bad stuff – bad pages, manuscripts, or just bad words. That is part of learning. And to write is to learn.

What do you think of the quote? Let me know!

Until next time…

Steph’s writing corner.

Steph’s writing corner.

Today’s Writing 101 assignment is all about where the magic happens – in other words, where the writing happens! I love sharing about my writing space. (It also asks questions about  writing habits, equipment and other things.  I will get to that in a few!)

We had just moved into a new place and it had a sun room.  It was dead space for us for quite a while but them we decided to create an amazing place for work to happen! It has become my favorite place in the house.

wpid-20150914_095312.jpg We have two desks, a corner desk and then a small glass top desk (that we have had forever!)  It has become our work corner!

wpid-20150914_095146.jpg This is the main computer in the house:  As you can tell, I have sticky notes all around the screen and I am never far from my notebook! 😀 We also have surround sound speakers that I like to use (I listen to classical or just instrumental soundtracks) when I am writing heavy or important screens!

wpid-20150914_095150.jpg  The other half of our corner desk.  This is where we keep pens, sticky notes, books, and other important stuff for life and writing! 🙂 (As you may have guessed, I use the desk more but my husband does use it to get his paperwork done for his work!)

wpid-20150914_095203.jpg We have had this desk for such a long time! It houses our (very) ancient laptop that I use when my husband needs to get some work done!   If you take a look on the wall, you see a calendar.  Keep this in  mind, I will talk more about it later on! 🙂

On the other side of the room are my bookshelves!  But I will go over those another day (and when my daughter hasn’t help rearrange them for the tenth time that day!)

What are your writing habits?

I am a strong believer of writing everyday.  I am a 100% night owl and I get most of my great writing done after the needs of the house are done and asleep!  I also keep an eye on my word count!  I am a lover of NaNoWriMo on top of that all so I have high writing count goals with a short period of time. But this doesn’t work for everyone and I understand.  I have had to train myself for this (and I am thinking of creating an eBook to share how I do it with others! Keep your eyes open!)

What equipment or supplies do you use to write?

Now I have a few different things that I use.   wpid-20150914_132231.jpg First I tend to always have a three ringer binder with filler paper!  I love these things.  (I love all kinds of office supplies!)  But I am a huge fan of binders (I use them for pretty much everything from brain storming to editing and showing off)  But I think I will post about my love of binders in the future.

Once upon a time I used to be all about ‘handwriting’ all my stuff because that is what all the great have done…  But they all lived before computers have taken front and center.  So I do use the computer for about 95% of my writing.  I use Word for a quick thought that I have before I can really work on them.  For most part, (close to 90% of my writing) I use Scrivener.  There is some much I can say about this program (and so many other writers agree with me!) But for the moment I will just say that is awesome and that you should go check it out!  <3 

What do you need and or want in a physical space?

Most important things to me, for my writing space, are a comforty chair, a solid working computer and a door.  But I love to have  a great sound system to blast off all my classical music and chocolate!  Other than that, I am happy!  🙂

Now, before I go, I wanted to share something with you guys.  Remember earlier in this post I told you to keep an eye on the calendar on the wall?  Well, here is a close up to it.  wpid-20150914_133959.jpg.  This where I keep track of my word counts every day.  You can click on the picture so you can see how many words I have gotten this month!  (Sorry I have HORRIBLE handwriting.)  But I strongly suggest that you do something like this.  This works for me!  I hate seeing zeros on there!  Don’t worry the first month about getting high word counts; just worry about getting words on the page  and then put how many you wrote.  Then aim to write more!

Well, that’s all for me at the moment! Keep an eye out for more posts about what I talked about! 🙂

Until next time…

Writer’s Procrastination

Writer’s Procrastination

I am in the middle on this statement.

Daydreaming or procrastination really does help your creative side to think.  It allows the creative juices flow because your brain is relaxing and isn’t focused on anything.  That is a why so many great ideas come from taking a shower or sitting in the oval office; it’s not a difficult task to do and your brain decides to wonder.  Overall, it sounds great.

But (and there is always a but!), too much of a wonderful thing is a bad thing! Only daydreaming will not get words on the page.  To be able to call yourself a writer means you have to – surprise! – write!  Write everyday (well at least 90% of the time – we all know how life can be!)  Please note, to be a writer, you must write everyday, but for being a published author or other anything else for that matter takes a different set of rules!

I call myself a writer, but that is because I write every day! If I always procrastinated then I would only be a ‘want-to-be-writer’.  That is not what I want to be! This doesn’t make me better than others – it does make me stand out.

But without periods of daydreaming and procrastination, the creative well might run dry. So you HAVE to have a balance between the two!  It’s a delicate balnce and it can be achieved! 🙂

Until next time…